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Chris Eubank Sr, Chris Eubank Jr and Roy Jones Jr exclusive: How two legends and 'Junior' came together to pass on 'wisdom, speed and brains'

How will Jones Jr react to Eubank Jr's father's input? Are there in-ring similarities between father and son? And why didn't Eubank Sr fight Jones Jr in their 90s heyday?

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Eubank Jr on his new partnership with Roy Jones Jr

'Brains' - it comes up time and time again in Chris Eubank Jr, his father's and his trainer Roy Jones Jr's first interview as boxing's newest power trio. It was brains that brought them together, and brains that is the end-goal to turn Eubank Jr into an unstoppable force powered by a pair of legends whose rivalry has been replaced by teamwork.

Chris Eubank Sr explains how he has passed "wisdom" down to his son but such gravitas in his words has meant that, until now, Junior (as his father calls him) has moved frequently between trainers.

"Who could tell me better than my father? Being taught by my father for so long, it was hard to entrust that to just anybody," Eubank Jr tells Sky Sports. "Which is why I didn't have a full-time trainer for so many years. But Roy is exactly what I need to take me to the next level."

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Eubank Sr and Roy Jones Jr talk about their mutual respect

Eubank Jr needed his father to call in a favour with an old friend. This is the first example of brains; this time belonging to Eubank Jr who knew how to climb to the next level in his career. In the US and needing a gym pre-lockdown, he had identified Jones' place in Florida. One phone call later, between two of the 1990s' finest talents, and Eubank Jr was welcomed to his latest gym and a fascinating new dynamic was born.

Eubank Sr told Sky Sports: "My son said: 'This is the man for me'. So I called Roy, someone I've always admired. Before Roy, it was my wisdom and insight that I was passing to Junior. But he needs someone hands-on. The physical time with a trainer in a gym is what my son needs.

"Roy is perfect - let me tell you why. He has two things; brains and speed. I only had brains. Roy beat James Toney who, privately for me, is one of the greatest super-middleweights of all time. Toney was a technical boxer but Roy had brains and speed. Roy played with him and I bow to Toney's skill-set.

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"These are two men that I was intelligent not to unify titles with. They were too dangerous.

"Junior has speed. Roy had speed. There is the synergy. When someone has speed they throw four punches to your one, you cannot beat them. If Junior picks up five per cent from Roy, that is enough to see him through to achieve all the things that he wants.

"Five per cent is enough to make him blossom and fly."

Jones Jr, 51, is still new to the game as a full-time trainer. He worked with Devon Alexander for one fight but his newest student is a long-term project to really get his teeth into. He did not expect the phone call from an old rival in Brighton.

"I was excited, I always admired Chris Sr from afar," Jones Jr told Sky Sports. "When he called, it was an honour and a privilege from a fellow fighter to put their son in your hands.

"A legend asked: 'Take my son to the next level'."

Eubank Jr infamously trained himself for part of his career, taking his father's advice and applying it unsupervised, powered by a work-ethic that is feted even among fellow boxers.

"Eubank Jr is one of the hardest workers I've ever been around," sparring partner Denis Douglin recently told Sky Sports. Eubank Jr was trained by Las Vegas-based Nate Vasquez for his past two fights but, with his father forever an inspirational voice in his ear, perhaps he needed another voice that carries the same weight.

Ironically Vasquez told Sky Sports last year: "I don't know if jumping trainers will help him. Chris wants to be a boxer but he needs a lot of work on his footwork, and his style isn't meant to be a boxer like Roy Jones Jr."

Eubank Jr is now being taught exactly that, by the man who perfected it. He explained: "Roy is a trainer in the truest sense - with you day-in day-out, working on things, showing you things, staying on point at all times.

"My father instructed me and said: 'Go and do it'. He hasn't been able to stay in the gym, I was left to my own devices. That did work. I learned a lot from my father.

"But with Roy? It's more hands-on every day."

Eubank Jr started his career in Brighton, in the shadow of his father
Image: Eubank Jr started his career in Brighton, in the shadow of his father

It is, frankly, a wealth of experience that Eubank Jr can tap into the likes of which no other boxer on the planet may have.

"I have two former world champions guiding me, what more could I ask for? The sky is the limit now."

But what if these two legends, Jones Jr and Eubank Sr, butt heads?

Eubank Sr sees the question coming and interjects, insisting that Jones Jr is the man in charge. But he did add: "I will always give my input."

And Jones Jr replied: "I'm open-minded, I'm not stubborn that my way is the only way. If he brings advice I will listen to it. Why would I not?"

Jones Jr has already spotted how similar traits remain in the Eubank DNA: "Heart, punching power, will to win, there are several similarities between father and son. Junior has more speed than his father had. Brains with speed? It's very hard to beat that."

Eubank Jr won his US debut last time out and will remain stateside for the foreseeable future. His career-best win came last year over James DeGale, a coming-of-age performance that justified everything said about the son of the champion.

He is targeting world titles now - Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith have all been put on notice.

He previously said about Canelo: "I don't think anyone on the planet would make a better opponent for him. Most guys are going in there to run and survive, I'm going in there to destroy."

On Golovkin, he said: "Because of my style, I would stop him due to the pure amount of punches. Whether it's a cut or he gets tired, stopping him would definitely be on the cards."

And on Charlo: "He is not a likeable guy. I would take great pleasure in taking him down a peg or two."

Eubank Jr and Sr
Image: Eubank Sr is a constant in his son's career

Part of the intrigue in this new trio is that Eubank Sr and Jones Jr were each super-middleweight world champions in the mid-90s yet never shared a ring.

Why not?

Eubank Sr is startlingly honest. He insists on answering first: "I don't want to appear arrogant because I'm not. I had brains. I never had to fight Roy because he was never No 1 contender to my WBO championship. I was not mindless enough to go looking for something that I couldn't achieve.

"I would have fought Roy if he was No 1 contender - I would have had to, because my integrity would not have allowed me to dodge him. But I was WBO champion and he was IBF. I didn't have to, I wasn't forced to.

"It was a very tall building that I chose not to climb.

"If you choose to do something that you know you cannot do, or that is going to be very difficult, then you are a fool!

"My view was; Roy, I will admire you from afar!"

Jones Jr replied: "It was never an opportunity. Nobody was making noise about me against the guys from England. I wasn't in a hurry to take my title to England because I was robbed in Seoul [in the 1988 Olympic gold medal fight, one of boxing's most controversial decisions].

"I was not a guy who took risks going overseas. I admired Chris Sr because he could box and he was different.

"It would have been an interesting fight if it ever happened. But he had Steve Collins and Nigel Benn. I had James Toney and Bernard Hopkins.

"Neither one of us were duckers. We both had titles and didn't have to unify unless the fans demanded it. At the time, it wasn't demanded."

It is water under the bridge, now.

Time has moved on, there is a new Eubank taking centre stage. Eubank Sr, 53, admits that sometimes he is now recognised as Chris Eubank Jr's dad rather than vice versa.

Eubank Jr has never appeared happier in his surroundings that in Pensacola, a quiet and rural part of Florida. All three men know he will find fewer distractions here than, for example, Vegas.

"Solitude is the companion of warriors," smiles Eubank Sr. That's the type of quote we've been awaiting.

It feels like this life was inevitable for Eubank Jr but his father insists not. He points to a BBC documentary with Louis Theroux filmed 18 years ago when he said that his young son would not walk the same treacherous path that he did. But here we are.

"Where my son is concerned, I told him that boxing isn't for him," said Eubank Sr. "Boxing isn't just about fighting people, it's about being a standard bearer. You become a beacon for the people.

"My son has done an amazing - a stupendous - job in following in my footsteps. I am very proud of my son."

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